X

Japanese Man Promotes Peace in Asia by Giving Strangers Free Hugs

29-year-old Koichi Kuwabara has made it his mission to distribute ‘Free Hugs for Peace’ to as many people as he can – he’s been traveling across Asia for the past three years, hugging random people on the streets. His videos have gone viral on YouTube, garnering over 1.5 million views. He also has over 5,300 followers on Facebook and about 3,000 on Twitter.

Koichi, an aspiring school teacher, said: “I don’t want to just regurgitate theories written on textbooks. I want to tell the kids what I saw and learned first-hand from giving free hugs worldwide.”

He began his extraordinary adventure in August, 2011, just after he graduated from university. Since then, he has taken his Free Hugs initiative to several cities in China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. At each location he visiyed, Koichi held up a sign that displayed the flags of Japan and the country he was visiting, along with the caption ‘Free Hugs for Peace’.

Koichi-Kuwabara

Read More »

Cambodia’s Miracle-Performing Baby Draws Thousands of Sick Pilgrims

Kong Keng, a 2-year-old kid from Khnor village in Cambodia, is being hailed as a miracle baby with special healing powers. Thousands of people are traveling from as far as Laos and Vietnam, believing that even a glimpse of Kong will help cure them of their ailments. He appears to be the last ray of hope in a nation that doesn’t exactly have the world’s best healthcare system.

Hundreds of people throng outside Kong’s single-room wooden home every single day. It’s a motley crowd of handicapped people in wheelchairs, and ailing, dying patients on stretchers. Phat Soen, Kong’s 21-year-old mother, brings the boy out and places a row of eucalyptus balm bottles in front of him. She then guides his hand over each bottle – his touch is believed to transfer healing powers to the balm.

The toddler’s healing powers were discovered by an accidental healing ‘miracle’ that occurred a few months ago. “The miracle happened to my brother,” said Sung Bahn, Kong’s uncle. “He was paralyzed from the waist down after a motorcycle accident. Doctors couldn’t cure him and neither could the Kru Khmers (traditional Cambodian healers).”

Kong-Keng-Cambodia

Read More »

Nepal’s Worshiped Child Goddesses Whose Feet Cannot Touch the Ground until Puberty

Nepal is a land of mysticism, where a select few pre-pubescent girls from the Newar clan are worshiped as ‘Kumari Devi’ or ‘Virgin Goddess’. According to tradition, Durga (the Hindu goddess of destruction) herself is incarnate in young girls belonging to the silver and goldsmith community. Until they attain puberty, Kumaris are worshipped as deities and deemed protectors by thousands of adoring Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal.

To prove that she is the chosen one, a prospective Kumari must go through over 30 tests. Initially, high priests choose girls based on their physical characteristics – with a slender neck like a conch shell, gentle eyes like a cow, and other special traits. In the next stage, the girl must pass through a series of unusual trials. In one test, she is placed in a darkened room with severed animal heads and hideously masked dancing men, while her reaction is observed. In another test, she must correctly identify the items worn by her predecessor (similar to the ritual used in Tibet to choose a new Dalai Lama).

14137347067_9a869b71d1_z

Read More »

The Japanese Bar Where Waiters Are Princes, Customers Are Princesses and Everyone Is a Girl

Japan really does have some of the most interesting bars and restaurants that cater to a large variety of customers with strange interests. We’ve heard of restaurants catering to airsoft lovers, offering great discounts to bald patrons, using monkeys as waiters, and even a bar run by a monk. Now we’ve found out about a cross-dressing Tokyo bar that caters only to a female clientele. The waiters are women too, dressed as dashing young princes, while the customers get to be princesses for the day.

The aptly named ‘Bar Prince’ is located in Tokyo’s Nakano ward. They have a strict women-only policy for the staff as well as patrons. The boyish-looking staff don ruffle-trimmed prince outfits and swept-over hairstyles – they’re all crossdressers. Their mission is simple – to make every woman who walks through their doors feel like a princess. They even have a special name for their customers: ‘o-hime-sama’, which, obviously, means princesses.

Bar-Prince

Read More »

Lack of Toilet Breaks Forces Thai Bus Conductors to Wear Diapers

If you have access to a clean toilet at your workplace, you’ll probably appreciate it a lot more after reading this. We usually take common things like toilets for granted, without once thinking about how luck we are! Bus conductors in Bangkok, Thailand, don’t even get toilet breaks – they wear adult diapers instead, and are forced to answer nature’s call on the job.

That might sound gross, but it’s actually kind of sad. The story is the same in several parts of Thailand – blue collar workers aren’t even provided with basic amenities. Bus conductors have it the worst – without any work breaks to tend to their physiological needs, they have to wear adult diapers all day long . It’s no laughing matter – the diapers are actually making them ill.

One of those affected is Watcharee Viriya, a conductor who developed urinary tract infection because she spent several hours away from a restroom. So she started wearing diapers, which only made matters worse. “It was uncomfortable when I moved, especially when I urinated inside,” she said.

Thai-bus-conductors

Read More »

South Korean Model Goes under the Knife to Look Like Supermodel Miranda Kerr

It seems like the Koreans are always in the news for their outrageous plastic surgeries. The latest to get on board is young South Korean model Hong Yuh Reum, who completely changed her face to resemble her idol – supermodel Miranda Kerr.

Reum was recently featured on a Korean TV show called Alien Virus, which features all sorts of unusual guests. She admitted that Kerr was her only inspiration for going under the knife. “It really struck me when I first saw her in a magazine,” said Reum. “She has a baby face but she’s very sexy. I knew I wanted to be like her!”

Hong-Yuh-Reum

Read More »

Korea’s Most Popular Fermented Fish Dish Smells Like a Public Toilet

Fermented foods aren’t exactly famous for their alluring smell and flavor, but South Korea’s popular ‘hongeo’ has just got to be the worst of the lot. It’s definitely classified as one of the grossest foods in the world, even for ‘foodie daredevils’ who like trying out weird dishes.

What makes hongeo so bad? Well, for starters, it’s made from a fish called skate, which just like sharks, has no bladder or kidneys. Its digestive waste simply oozes out of its skin in the form of uric acid. That’s why sharks and skates need to be eaten fresh. But the Koreans seem to enjoy defying the norm in this case.

What they do is leave dozens of fresh skates (a cartilage-rich fish that resembles a stingray) stacked up in a walk-in refrigerator. Then they wait, sometimes as long as a month, for the fish to acquire a distinct ‘aroma’, reminiscent of a public urinal. When the smell reaches its worst, the skates are ready to be taken out, sliced up and served raw.

Hongeo-stinky-food

Read More »

Philippines Zoo Offers Adrenaline Junkies Snake Massage from Four Giant Pythons

Everybody loves a good massage, but this snake massage at the Cebu City Zoo in Philippines is really something else. It involves 15 minutes of hardcore action, with four enormous Burmese pythons slithering all over brave participants.

According to zoo manager Giovanni Romarate, the free massages are a part of a new theme that encourages visitors to interact more with the animals. “We are going to change the zoo into an interactive one,” said Giovanni. “Everybody could have an experience and have a chance to hold and pet some of the animals here, including the snake massage that we newly introduced.”

The four snakes – Walter, EJ, Daniel and Michelle – are fed about 10 chickens each before the massage to avoid last minute hunger pangs. Obviously, the zoo authorities don’t want the reptiles snacking on their clients. The participants are given a set of safety instructions as well. According to tourist Ian Maclean, “They tell you not to blow air on the snake, because this is like being pinched on the bum. You can’t shout for help as the snake can feel your vibrations and thinks you’re a prey or a predator, depending on the environment.”

snake-massage

Read More »

For Some Strange Reason the Nurses at This Chinese Hospital Dress Like Flight Attendants

A hospital in eastern China has decided to do away with plain white nurse uniforms. Instead, they have their nurses dressing up like flight attendants. The new initiative began earlier this month at the Lianshui Traditional Chinese Medicine hospital in Huai’an city. Their idea is to glamorize the otherwise thankless profession of nursing, and also provide patients with superior customer service.

Bu Haijuan, head of the hospital’s nursing unit, came up with the idea as a way to remind her nurses to improve their bedside manner. “If you think of all the professions of the world, which one comes to mind when you think of good customer service?” she asked. “It’s airline stewardesses, isn’t it? Nurses learn all sorts of technical skills at college but customer service can be easily overlooked. But flight attendants are specifically trained to have a good attitude and manners.”

flight-attendant-nurses

Read More »

Man Sues Mother for Breaking Promise to Let Him Marry Her 8-Year-Old Daughter When She Came of Age

A heartbroken Taiwanese man is suing a teenage girl’s mother for breaking a promise she made 11 years ago. The man, a 32-year-old school teacher at the time, had fallen in love with his 8-year-old student. He became so obsessed that he managed to extricate a promise from the child’s mother that he could marry her when she came of age. Believing that the mother would keep her end of the deal, he spent several years supporting the girl’s family financially. And now that she hasn’t, he’s taking the family to court.

Over the years, the man has spent over 900,000 Taiwanese dollars (that’s about US $30,000) on the girl and her family. He completely covered her tuition and living expenses, and took her out on various occasions. He also paid off the mother’s outstanding debts. Some news reports also provided photographs in which the girl and the man appear to be quite close. It looks like he truly considered her to be his future wife (although they looked more like father-and-daughter). But nine years later, when the man checked the 17-year-old’s Facebook profile, he was in for a very rude shock.

marriage

Read More »

Korean Plastic Surgeries Have Gotten So Extreme Surgeons Are Issuing Special Certificates to Prove People Are Who They Say They Are

South Korean plastic surgeons are among the best in the world. In fact they’re so good that people from other countries like China and Japan are actually having trouble getting back home.

That’s sounds really crazy, but it’s true. When most people get a nose job or a lip job, they just look like ‘enhanced’ versions of themselves. But people returning from a plastic surgery vacation in South Korea are truly transformed. You’d have to look very closely at the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs, and even then, it’s hard to make a connection. So I suppose you couldn’t really blame airport officials for stopping these tourists from returning home.

Korea-plastic-surgery2

Read More »

Share a Coffee with Snakes and Scorpions at Vietnam’s Popular Pet Cafe

If you love dogs, cats and cute, cuddly bunnies, then Vietnam’s Pet Café is certainly not the place for you. It exists to serve a totally different kind of animal lover. Located in the capital city of Hanoi, the café has an awesome collection of snakes, rats, lizards, tarantulas and even a few hedgehogs, stored in glass cages of various sizes. As you sit at your table and share a coffee with a friend, you can gaze upon these slow-moving reptiles in replicas of their natural habitats. And if you’re feeling a little brave, you could even ask to touch or play with them.

28-year-old Nguyen Minh Nghia, the owner of Pet Café, has a degree in mining and geology, but is now a stockbroker. He has been obsessed with animals since childhood, and that’s what prompted him to start the café. “I loved animals since I was a little boy. I began raising reptiles 5 years ago, when a friend asked me to feed his salamanders as he was too preoccupied with his own business,” Nguyen said.

He fell in love with the creatures and ended up traveling to Thailand, Singapore, Australia and China, amassing a huge collection of snakes, salamanders and other reptiles that are now his best friends. “These pets are easy to feed, but for beginners, it is not a walk in the park,” he said. “You have to read a lot of materials to learn how to raise reptiles. I’ve chosen reptiles that are suited for the environment and climate in Vietnam. To keep them alive here, I’ve got to study a lot about their living environment. My café is always dark because many reptiles do not like the light.”

Pet-Cafe-Hanoi

Read More »

Fishing with Otters in Bangladesh – A Dying Tradition

Otter Fishing has been a long-standing tradition in Bangladesh. For centuries, fishermen have been using trained otters to lure fish into their nets – a unique technique passed on from father to son that has long died out in other parts of Asia. Bangladeshi fishermen have managed to keep it alive so far, but the future of otter fishing seems uncertain due to the dwindling  population of fish in the country’s rivers.

As a part of the tradition, fishermen lower their nets into the water close to the banks of the river. As they do this, their pet otters also dive tails up into the water with a splash. The animals do not catch the fish themselves, but chase them towards the fishing nets for the fishermen to haul in. Otter fishing is generally practiced during the night, with some fisherman throwing their nets until dawn trying to catch enough fish to support their families. Their hard work yields anywhere between 4 and 12 kilos of fish and shrimp every night.

A fishing family makes about $250 a month with the modest catch. “Our job depends on the otters,” said Shashudhar Biswas, a fisherman from Narail district in southern Bangladesh. “The otters manage to spot fish among the plants, then the fish swim away and we stay close with our nets. If we did it without them, we wouldn’t be able to catch as many fish,” his son Vipul added.

Otter-Fishing

Read More »

Mies Container Restaurant – South Korea’s Hooters for Women

‘Mies Container’ is a strange name for a restaurant. But its theme is unique and refreshing – factory-style décor and extremely good-looking male waitstaff. The restaurant, located in Gangnam District – one of Seoul’s most hip locations – has been dubbed ‘Hooters for Women’. In a city where people are not exactly known for their patience, Koreans are actually waiting in endless lines outside Mies Container – that’s how popular it has become. And about nine out of ten customers are always women!

The atmosphere inside Mies pretty much screams one word – Macho. The open loft structure is constructed like a factory, with the slogan ‘Wipe and Tighten and Oil!’ written on the wall in Korean. They even have numbered construction helmets to identify orders. All the waiters are young and hot (and male), and overly friendly towards customers, especially women.

One waiter was overheard telling a customer: ‘You have excellent taste in picking from the menu.’ Handsome men who are attentive and appreciative? No wonder this place is a hit with the ladies. And the customers aren’t exactly bashful while returning the compliments. There’s a wall right next to the cashier filled with little notes like: ‘Dear hot waiter, please marry me!’ – that’s just one of the decent ones.

Mies-Container-restaurant

Read More »

The Rumbling Train Track Street of Hanoi

I thought that Thailand’s Railway Food Market was the only one of its kind in the world. Turns out I was wrong. A similar railway track exists in Vietnam as well – this one doesn’t pass through a busy market place like its Thai counterpart, but a narrow residential neighborhood. The video footage of the train shows it passing mere inches from the front doors of people living in the capital city of Hanoi.

Hanoi is pretty much iconic for its narrow buildings and streets. And since the main train station is right in the heart of the city, it’s no surprise that the train tracks pass by busy streets. The section of tracks that leads to Long Bien Bridge passes through Old Quarter, which is a densely populated residential area. The houses here are so close to the tracks that people could easily get smacked if they don’t watch their step, or decide to stick their hands out the window at the wrong time. Luckily, the trains go by only twice a day.

train-street-Hanoi

Read More »

Page 5 of 21« First...34567...1020...Last »